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PA: World should retrieve our tax revenues from Israel

Dec. 6, 2012 10:31 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 8, 2012 1:31 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian Authority government on Thursday slammed Israel's seizure of its tax revenues after Palestine won a UN status upgrade as a "policy of piracy".

In its weekly meeting, the cabinet urged the international community to put an end to what it called "the Israeli policy of piracy."

Israel's government said Sunday it will use the 460 million shekels ($120 million) of November tax payments to pay PA debts to the Israeli Electric Company after the UN vote admitting Palestine as a non-member state.

"The international community (should) reject this blackmail and compel Israel to transfer our tax revenues," a PA cabinet statement said Thursday.

The government applauded the UN vote as the "fruit of our people’s continued and decades-long struggle to achieve their natural right to self-determination, and a victory for our people’s determination to realize all its national rights."

The Israeli government also unveiled plans on Friday to build 3,000 new settlement units and expedite building in the so-called E-1 area of the occupied West Bank, a day after the UN vote.

Building in E-1 "threatens the possibility of enshrining the Palestinian state on the land occupied by Israel in 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital," the government said.

Further they "constitute a flagrant defiance of the international community's will" reflected by the UN vote, the cabinet statement continued. At the General Assembly, 138 member states voted for Palestine's boost in status.

The PA welcomes European efforts to protest the settlement acceleration, but called for "concrete action."

The Palestinian leadership will "engage the UN Security Council to confront settlement construction and compel Israel to stop these activities," it added.
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